Article Text

Prevalence of long COVID-19 among healthcare workers: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol
  1. Amani Al-Oraibi1,2,
  2. Jatin Sridhar Naidu3,
  3. Aasiya Chaka4,
  4. Katherine Woolf3,
  5. Laura B Nellums2,
  6. Carolyn Tarrant5,
  7. Daniel Pan1,4,
  8. Shirley Sze6,
  9. Christopher A Martin1,4,
  10. Mayuri Gogoi1,
  11. Joshua Nazareth1,4,
  12. Manish Pareek1,4
  1. 1Department of Respiratory Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  2. 2Lifespan and Population Health, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  3. 3Medical School, University College London, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Infection and HIV Medicine, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
  5. 5Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  6. 6Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Manish Pareek; manish.pareek{at}


Introduction A proportion of those who survive the acute phase of COVID-19 experience prolonged symptoms, commonly known as long COVID-19. Given that healthcare workers (HCWs) face an elevated risk of acute COVID-19 compared with the general population, the global burden of long COVID-19 in HCWs is likely to be large; however, there is limited understanding of the prevalence of long COVID-19 in HCWs, or its symptoms and their clustering. This review will aim to estimate the pooled prevalence and the symptoms of long COVID-19 among HCWs infected with SARS-CoV-2 globally, and investigate differences by country, age, sex, ethnicity, vaccination status and occupation.

Methods and analysis A systematic review and meta-analysis will be conducted. Medline (via Ovid), CINAHL (via EBSCO), Embase (via Ovid), PsycINFO (via EBSCO), OpenGrey (grey literature) and medRxiv (preprint server) will be searched from the 31 December 2019 onward. All research studies and preprint articles reporting any primary data on the prevalence and/or the symptoms of long COVID-19 among adult HCWs will be included. Methodological quality will be assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklist for Studies Reporting Prevalence Data. Outcomes are anticipated to be the prevalence of long COVID-19 among HCWs around the world and trajectory of symptoms. Data synthesis will include random-effect meta-analysis for studies reporting prevalence data of long COVID-19 following SARS-CoV-2 infection among HCWs. The results will be presented with a 95% CI as an estimated effect across studies. Heterogeneity will be assessed using I² statistic. Where meta-analysis is inappropriate, a narrative synthesis of the evidence will be conducted.

Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval is not needed as data will be obtained from published articles. We will publish our findings in a peer-reviewed journal and disseminate the results of our review at conferences.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42022312781.

  • COVID-19

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Supplementary materials

  • Supplementary Data

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.


  • Twitter @AmaniAlOraibi, @JatinNaidu7, @kathwoolf

  • Contributors AA-O, MP, KW, LN and CT designed the review. The protocol was drafted by AA-O, JN and AC. All authors read and approved the final protocol.

  • Funding This work was supported by the NHS Race and Health Observatory grant number (2122-59).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.